Expert advice for creating a safe, practical and comfortable, animal-friendly home environment. The good news: you don't have to sacrifice style (at all)

Answer this question honestly: is your home ready to welcome the puppy dog and/or cat that you have finally decided to adopt?

If it is true that "all you need is love", and that what family pets need most is your unconditional love, a minimum adaptive strategy for domestic environments must be implemented.

Here, then, are all the tips for a pet proof update: get ready to make your home happily dog and cat proof. All without sacrificing style.

Read also: Living with a cat: 5 furnishing tips

First focus: materials and fabrics

As the interior architect Paolo Rota, co-founder of the studio Rota-Giorgino, underlines, «introducing a new furry friend into your home is an extraordinary experience, but it's important to stop for a moment and consider the effect this sweet creature will have on our living space (which nowadays is often also our work space).

There is nothing impossible and it is indeed easy and desirable to obtain the perfect mix between aesthetics and functionality, creating a harmonious environment both for us and for our pet.

The first advice I would like to give is toinvest in resistant and easy to clean materials. When it comes to furnishings, coverings and fabrics in general, it is best to opt for robust materials, with a good degree of durability.

In general, fabrics with removable covers are the winners, for example for covering sofas, armchairs and headboards. To be washed frequently at high temperatures, to always have a fresh and clean home.

It is better to avoid the use of carpet and also too many rugs: in the presence of dogs and cats these textile accessories risk becoming an accumulation of mites and hair, not to mention that they could easily be stained by muddy paws. mud and, unfortunately, unwanted poo.

If you love carpets, choose them that are strictly light and have short fibre: they are the easiest to wash without having to go to the dry cleaners every time".

An extra eye is needed in the kitchen and bathroom

There are rooms in the house that potentially put the health of a small dog or cat, who are naturally very curious, at greater risk. They are kitchen and bathroom, let's immediately see why (and how to fix it).

«Just as happens when there is a baby at home, in the kitchen and bathroom it is important to invest in special locks for cabinets and drawers. These storage elements must be blocked, especially when animals are left alone at home, to prevent their paws from being leveraged and thus accessing medicines, chemical products and cosmetics of all kinds.

Rubbish bins should also always be covered and/or placed inside a lockable cabinet. Returning to the topic of hygiene, if you are undergoing a restyling, invest in washable paints.

It is a type of paint on which it is possible to pass the classic sponge with detergent to eliminate dirty stains».

Design accessories dedicated to pets

An animal is not a toy, which means that among its various needs it also has that of small protected spaces in which, when it wants, it can retreat. «Creating mini environments exclusively reserved for the rest of dogs and cats is fundamental for their psycho-physical well-being», recalls architect Rota.

«These range from wicker baskets topadded dog beds: place them in quiet areas of the house, for example a corner of the living room (not next to the television or stereo), the study or, even better, the bedroom.

Small felines love to explore verticality, which is why it is highly recommended to purchase the classic tree-house, towering houses on which to climb and rest (they are generally covered in rope, also fulfilling the task of scratching post.

On the entrance floor, if you have a dog, you can place a practical washable mat, on which you can clean it when you return from your daily walks. A final recommendation: if you love indoor plants, be aware that some plant species are toxic to animals, for example carnations and oleanders."